Another reason for people to book an ATOL bonded package holiday has surfaced after it has emerged that many travel agents may have booked their customers on a separate flight and Costa Concordia cruise booking, issuing separate invoices for two bookings rather than on an ATOL protected cruise package holiday under one invoice.
Because of the tragic accident that happened just off the Tuscany coast all the forward bookings for the Costa Concordia have been cancelled. Costa Cruises will be giving a full refund plus a voucher for 30% off a future cruise but because many travel agents will have booked the cruise and separate flights those customers could be faced with not been able to get a refund on the flights part of the booking because the airlines will apply normal cancellation terms and conditions. Most airlines won’t provide a refund if a flight is cancelled.
Those passengers that have booked an ATOL protected cruise package will be able to get a full refund and this highlights the importance of asking your travel agent whether the holiday is ATOL protected. The law on what constitutes a holiday package has been the subject of debate for some time and the law is soon to be tightened which may well close many loopholes but until then many travel agents continue to sell packages that are not ATOL protected as they try to get an advantage on price over those agents that do sell ATOL protected holidays.
Just for the record, here at Global Holidays we always sell ATOL protected package holidays.
Global Holidays is the travel agent for luxury holidays and you can contact them FREE on 0800 433 2300.